Solomons to accept Australian diplomat

Solomons to accept Australian diplomat

Solomons to accept Australian diplomat

Updated 30 March 2012, 15:41 AEDT

Solomon Islands has moved to improve relations with Australia while calling on Canberra to show respect for the sovereignty of the Solomons.

Radio Australia's Graeme Dobell reports that Australia has attacked the Solomon Islands Government, for a one month delay in accepting the letter of accreditation from Australia's new top diplomat in Honiara, Peter Hooton.

Now the Solomons' High Commissioner to Canberra, Victor Ngele, says that formal step is about to happen, so Mr Hooton can begin work.

"It will be happening next week," he said.

Mr Ngele says the leaders of Solomon Islands and Australia need to meet face to face to discuss divisions between the two countries.

"We have never said that we do not like Australia and what they are doing," he said.

"We have said we would like to be treated with some amount of respect as a sovereign country."

Mr Ngele says his government wants to continue the regional assistance mission to Solomon Island, RAMSI, but with a clear demarcation of its role.

Ties between the Solomons and Australia have been strained since the Pacific nation refused to assist in the extradition of wanted Australian lawyer, Julian Moti, in October.

Mr Moti is wanted by Australian authorities to face child sex charges dating back to 1997.